The Complexities of a Lazy Day

For Christmas, my sister-in-law, Megan, gave me a deck of Writing Prompt cards. Each card contains a question, quote, fill-in-the-blank, etc. to get the synapses firing and the words flowing.

I randomly pulled a few cards out and came across one that made me stop and think. The card contains a (seemingly) simple question: ‘How do you feel after a day of doing nothing?’

How do I feel after a day of doing nothing? It’s not a simple answer. I assume that’s the point. If this question could be answered in a sentence, it wouldn’t belong on a writing prompt card.

For starters, is it really possible to do nothing for a day? Literally nothing? If I get out of bed to relieve my bladder, does that count as ‘doing something’? There’s no way I’m going to skip brushing my teeth first thing in the morning. Does that count as ‘doing something’? I’ll go ahead and assume that routine things, like using the bathroom, brushing teeth, getting dressed, fixing my latte, etc. don’t qualify as ‘doing something’ in relation to the question at hand.

Let’s assume the real question is:

How do you feel after a day of doing nothing productive, such as chores or work?

I can’t ever recall spending an entire day (in my adult life) being 100% unproductive. Well, maybe on vacation. It’s possible that there has been one day in my life, while on vacation, when I did absolutely nothing productive. Unlikely, but possible.

At home, there’s always dishes to load in the dishwasher, kitchen counters to wipe off, dirt or crumbs on the floor to sweep up or vacuum. It would only be possible for me to be completely unproductive if I were recovering from major surgery, deathly ill, etc. Basically, bedridden. Does it count as being unproductive if it’s by circumstance, and not by choice?

So I will alter the original question to read as follows:

How do you feel after a day of choosing to be mostly unproductive?

Well, how busy was I with work, chores, kids activities, etc. leading up to my lazy day? Have I been crossing tasks off on my (nonexistent) to-do list, aka, getting stuff accomplished? (We’ll get to my to-do-list in a minute.) If so, then I’m okay with sitting on the couch and binge-watching tv for a day, or working some crossword puzzles. Yes, I have turned into my father – I like crossword puzzles.  Regardless, my body and brain requires these occasional lazy days to recover and recharge.

However, when it’s a beautiful day outside, it’s more difficult to relax and do nothing. I feel like I should take advantage of the nice weather to run errands or do yard work – to do something. It’s far easier to justify a lazy day when it’s gloomy outside.

But how do I feel after a day of doing nothing? Guilty. Despite needing these lazy days to recharge, it’s difficult to truly enjoy them without feeling guilty.

There’s always some task that needs doing. Toilets don’t scrub themselves. The entire house hasn’t been mopped in a really, really long time. I recently came across a canned good in my pantry that expired in 2018, which did inspire me to purge and reorganize the pantry.

Part of me thinks I should create a to-do list of all the things around the house that need to be cleaned or organized. The other part of me thinks that is a terrible idea because the list would be depressingly long and overwhelming. It’s undoubtedly a good idea, but as is my nature, I’ll have to mull it over for an excessive amount of time before deciding whether or not to put a list together.

So, back to the topic at hand:

How do I feel after a day of doing nothing, aside from feeling guilty?


I don’t necessarily consider myself a lazy person, but I am admittedly more lazy than I used to be. I can remember, years ago, working my regular 8-hour shift, then working a 5-hour shift at my side job, and finally going home around midnight to clean my house. I can’t imagine doing that now. Is it due to aging? Is my body wearing out at the ripe old age of 42? Unlikely. There’s no good excuse for it. I have simply become more lazy. I don’t like it, but it is what it is.

So, finally, back to the original question posed by the writing prompt card: ‘How do you feel after a day of doing nothing?’ I feel good and bad. I feel recharged on one hand, and like I don’t need or deserve it on the other hand. It’s not a simple answer….